"Darkest day of my life' - mother accused of killing infant speaks out
Stacy Banks said she's made mistakes, but she's not a murderer.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – A mother accused of killing her baby is no longer behind bars – and decided to share her side of the story exclusively with KGUN9 News.
Stacy Banks, 37, is home with her family after her bond was reduced from $50,000 to $20,000 following autopsy results. According to the report, the medical examiner could not determine the manner or cause of death.
Police arrested Banks on suspicion of second-degree murder after her infant Neveah died.
“I was honest with everything, but not knowing I would ever be charged with killing my own daughter,” Banks said. “She was loved and I loved her with all my heart.”
Banks admitted that she smoked crack and breastfed her daughter before putting her to sleep. However, she claimed she never rolled over the baby – as police had said in court documents. Rather, she said, she woke up next to her infant.
"I'm not saying smoking crack is right by all means, but I fell it was the right thing to do to say so - that I didn't have anything to hide," Banks said.
“She didn’t move. She was still warm and everything, but when I placed her in front of me and I held her, I could she blue around the lips,” Banks said, adding that they called 911 immediately and tried to administer CPR, but it was too late.
Banks thinks Neveah stopped breathing because she had respiratory problems.
Banks was in jail during her daughter’s funeral, on suicide watch since authorities were afraid she would take her own life.
“It was the darkest day of my life. I felt numb. I couldn’t feel anything. I don’t know how to feel,” Banks said. “It really hasn’t fully begun to hit me yet.”
CPS took Banks’ two children – one 1.5 years old and a 16-year-old – away while she was in jail. Banks returned home to what she called a “lonely place” and said she could not bear to go into the room where Neveah died.
“It’s a hurting thing. I’m hurt. I’m really hurt. I know I’ve made some wrong decisions, but I love my kids,” Banks said.
Banks said although Neveah’s death is rock bottom – it’s also a new start: She is trying to stay away from drugs for the first time in 17 years.
“That street life is not for me. My family – they love me and they mean more to me than that side of things,” Banks said.
The Pima County Attorney’s Office told 9 On Your Side that given newly-released autopsy results, prosecutors are reevaluating the case to determine if they will move forward with the murder charge.
The family said late Friday that the charges have been dropped, but 9 On Your Side is still waiting for a call back from the Pima County Attorney's Office for confirmation.